Abercrombie & Fitch Co. managed to navigate a tough economy well enough to lift its first-quarter bottom line a bit.

Earnings for the three months ended May 3 inched up 3.4 percent to $62.1 million, or 69 cents a diluted share, on a 7.8 percent rise in sales to $800.2 million.

The quarter’s take had management crowing. “Despite a tough selling environment, we produced bottom-line growth while still remaining true to the aspirational positioning of our brand,” said Mike Jeffries, chief executive officer.

The specialty retailer did modestly trim projections of gross square-footage growth to 10 percent this year from the 11 percent previously expected. Abercrombie will open 104 new non-flagship stores in North America this fiscal year.

For complete coverage, see Monday’s issue of WWD.

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